Thursday, January 21, 2016

Here in the Waiting Room

Here in the waiting room the woman to my left is humming. Her ample lap is decked with sprawl from her giant handbag: a datebook, a notebook, cell phone, a huge key-ring with lots of ornaments on it, a bottle of water, a sheaf of papers; the woman is camping out. The song she’s humming is repetitive, haunting. A cool moon in a dark pond. I want to ask her what the song is and maybe she’ll say, “Oh, just something I’m composing...”
     Or, “It’s a lullaby my father used to sing to me. He died in Vietnam.”
     Or, “It’s just an old Beatles song.”
     But I don’t ask her so I’ll never know. A nurse calls her name and she packs up her stuff and leaves the room.
     I turn the tune over in my mind until they call my name and then it is gone, erased by the sudden wind in my head.

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